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Do I Have To Report A Construction Accident?

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After a sweeping investigation, New York Daily News found that at least 34 debilitating injuries, suffered by construction workers building 1 World Trade Center, had never been reported to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

Dangerous accident during work

It makes you wonder. If private contractors, running the nation's most visible construction project, can't be bothered to file accident reports, how can they expect their employees to?

Three Reasons To File An Accident Report Now

Whatever your justification, suffering an injury on a construction site and failing to report it to your employer is just bad policy. Thorough reporting is the best way to lock in your rights. It ensures that you'll be treated with dignity if you make a claim for compensation.

1. It's The Only Way You Can Get Workers Comp

No State's Workers Comp board will approve a claim for benefits unless you reported the injury to your employer. New York gives you 30 days to tell a supervisor, and then an additional two years to file a claim before your case is automatically dismissed.

Your employer may have a unique form to fill out, or you may be able to use the Worker's Compensation Board's form C-3. You can find a copy to print here.

2. You Have A Better Chance Of Approval

The majority of claims in New York are denied. Many are turned away because they failed to notify their employer.

The Workers Compensation Board often takes this to suggest that a worker's injuries were not sufficiently serious to warrant benefits.

3. If Your Claim Is Denied, You Can Still File A Lawsuit

Even though workers comp laws prevent you from suing your employer, do you really know who was to blame for your accident? Many injuries are actually caused by the negligence of third-parties. And a properly-filed accident report, substantiated by the opinions of medical experts, can go a long way to legitimize the severity of your injuries.

Wondering if you have a case? Contact our New York City construction accident lawyers today for a free consultation. We'll review your situation within 24 hours and let you know if we can help. It's that simple.

Call (917) 551-6690 or fill out our contact form.

Are Construction Accidents Usually Reported?


A study of nail gun injuries performed by researchers at Duke University and the National Institutes of Health came to a similar, troubling result. In their words, injuries, "even those resulting in medical care or lost time from work beyond the day of injury, often go unreported."

In a follow-up study, paid for by the Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), the team from Duke learned that over 85% of carpenters felt that there were negative consequences to reporting a workplace accident. 30% said that injuries were "almost never" reported.

In some cases, contractors are required to maintain zero-accident workplaces, in order to keep lucrative contracts. And many workers fear losing their jobs if they report. That's the primary reason why so many accidents go unnoticed.

Don't jeopardize your own rights. Tell your employer you got hurt, no matter what.


Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: January 7, 2015
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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